October 10, 2015 / 12:37 PM / 5 years ago

Bomb found at police recruitment event in Northern Ireland

BELFAST (Reuters) - A homemade bomb was made safe by army bomb disposal officers at a hotel in Northern Ireland that had been due to host a police recruitment event, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said on Saturday.

A 1998 peace deal largely ended three decades of violence in Northern Ireland between Protestants who want to remain British and Catholics favouring unification with the Irish republic, but pockets of division and sporadic violence remain.

The splinter militant groups that carry out the attacks have targeted police and security forces in particular in recent years.

“This device had the potential to harm anyone in the area and those involved have shown total disregard for human life,” PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said in a statement after the bomb was found in the grounds of a Londonderry hotel.

“We are obviously very thankful that this attack was thwarted and that no one was killed or seriously injured.”

Police officers and army bomb experts also attended similar alerts in two other parts of Northern Ireland on Friday, though nothing untoward was found.

Earlier this month the PSNI announced it would be recruiting 100 new officers and Hamilton said it had so far received 2,400 applications for the new jobs. 

“Intimidation and threat won’t stop people choosing policing as a career,” Northern Ireland Policing Board Chair Anne Connolly said.

Reporting by Amanda Ferguson, editing by Padraic Halpin and Elaine Hardcastle

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